Family Memories - Custom Watercolor Painting of Children at a Backyard Wedding

 Study - Click to see this larger
Summer's imminent arrival brings with it plans for outdoor family gatherings. This custom painting is of children playing a game at a backyard wedding reception. It reminds me of my childhood playing with cousins at family reunions.

The client wants an 8x10 watercolor of the photo she sent. As is usual with watercolor (because it's really tough to correct mistakes) I first paint a smaller study of the scene which you can see above. It beats having to paint the larger version twice!

Once the study is approved by the client, I begin the 8x10 painting. First, I paint a suggestion of background trees. The dark trees will be a nice contrast to the light colored clothing of the kids:

Notice in the image below that I've added blue to the far lawn. The cool color will help make the ground appear to lay flat since cool colors recede:

The lawn is a warmer color as it come "closer": yellows and reds are added to the green since warm colors appear to advance.

Next is the house. It is a traditional New England home, a Cape Cod with cedar shingles. I paint a wash of gray first and when it is dry, I'll add details:

The children are next. I begin with their hair which is lit by the afternoon sun. The hour of day is suggested by their long shadows and the warm color of the grass where the sunlight touches it:

Next is their skin tones and clothing. I add details as I go. This is easy to do because I did a study first to work out color, value and shading (Ah, the benefits of a watercolor study!):

Now that most of the painting is finished, I've decided that the background trees are competing with the foreground. They are too blotchy. So, to fix this, I wash over them with lots of pale blue water. This will soften the effect and make the trees recede:

Below is the finished watercolor. The client is delighted with how it turned out! Happily, I am too.

Custom watercolor painting of children playing games at a backyard wedding
Family Memories Custom Watercolor 8x10

I'm happy to take custom orders. Contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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